“Paradise Drive: A Drive in Paradise”
Words: Tasha Mero | Photos courtesy of Paradise Drive
When people visualize the term, “paradise,” they typically think of a tropical island, sunny beaches and palm trees—the epitome of Hawaiʻi.
Launched in 2013, Paradise Drive, a lifestyle brand that was created by a group of driven individuals, originally started out as a sneaker boutique. It eventually evolved into a street wear brand that strives to incorporate “paradise” into fashion.
The passionate team behind Paradise Drive consists of founder and co-owner Ian Chang, co-owner Stratton Wright, shop manager Sean Kelley and designer Preston Haʻo. The shop’s name is only fitting since its location is here, in paradise. With the brand’s team members all born and raised in Hawaiʻi, Paradise Drive is inspired by the local people, culture and trends.
The meaning behind the term “Drive” of Paradise Drive, has a double meaning. The first part of its meaning is a nod to Rodeo Drive, which is known for its rich fashion, while the second focuses on the determination and “drive” that encompasses the brand.
“It’s about pushing our limits,” explains Sean. “For me, [the meaning] caters more to the motivational factor of not staying content or settling. I think that’s what makes streetwear enticing. We have to stay ahead of everybody else to follow these [fashion] trends. Maybe one day, we can be the ones that set the trends.”
The brand’s motto is “My home, your vacation.” Paradise Drive caters to patrons from near and far, whether it be repeat customers from the community or visitors vacationing in Hawaiʻi. Paradise Drive believes that living in Hawaiʻi is like “an endless vacation.” Because they’re grateful to live here year-round, they’re eager to share a piece of “paradise” through their merchandise, as well as through their customer service.
The shop, which is located in Keeaumoku, features clothing, hats and accessories, such as decals, keychains, totes, coffee mugs and more. Co-owners Stratton and Ian aim to have their products made locally, and by doing so, they’re able to manage the quality of their merchandise. With all of their shirts made here, in Hawaiʻi, the shop strives to offer customers premium goods, all while supporting local businesses. Paradise Drive primarily features men’s apparel, but offers street wear for women and keiki also. One of their best-selling items are their hats, which are available in various styles. Recently, the Paradise Drive crew celebrated its third anniversary and released new products in honor of the special occasion. The collection consisted of black baseball caps and jerseys which featured the popular “Paradise” script logo.
When new collections launch, items sell out quickly. It’s best to act fast, because once a collection is sold out, they’re gone for good. Since items are made in limited quantities and are not mass-produced, it ensures that customers walk away with unique products.
The group of friends behind Paradise Drive enjoy working together and love being entrepreneurs. The team is always coming up with new concepts and designs, and are eager to showcase their creative vision through their fashion staples.
“I like waking up knowing that I’m working on my own project,” notes Stratton. “I always wanted to be my own boss. I’m a big risk-taker. Ian [the founder,] is probably one of the biggest entrepreneurs I know. The overall goal was to always be our own boss.”
As the brand continues to grow, Paradise Drive plans to expand outside of the local community and bring a bit of Hawaiʻi’s “paradise” to the Mainland. Whether customers visit the shop in-person, or browse the online website, Paradise Drive strives to ensure that customers enjoy their journey through paradise.
1411 Kona Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.